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Santa Barbara Zoo

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Sponsored by:
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Address: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone Number:
+1 805-962-5339
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea...

This zoo with a view was once a posh estate owned by a coffee and tea merchant; now it's the lush domain of more than 500 animals representing 160 species. The pink stucco mansion that once presided over manicured lawns and gardens is gone—replaced by open-air habitats built for the less refined but still exacting tastes of giraffes, elephants, gibbons, snow leopards and gorillas. What hasn't changed is the surrounding scenery; the Pacific and Santa Ynez Mountains are just as spectacular as they were back when this was the setting for civilized galas instead of the wild antics of monkeys and meerkats.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,078 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 583
  • 347
    Very good
  • 85
  • 10
  • 3
My daughter loved it!

Great outing for the kids, could be cleaner but the people who work there are wonderful. Of course its Santa Barbara so its beautiful.Plenty of interaction for the little ones.

Reviewed August 11, 2015
Red Bluff
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1,078 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,028: English reviews
Red Bluff
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2015

Great outing for the kids, could be cleaner but the people who work there are wonderful. Of course its Santa Barbara so its beautiful.Plenty of interaction for the little ones.

1 Thank RBfoodlover
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2015 via mobile

We came here because my daughter wanted to see lizards. It's a typical zoo, high prices and expensive trinkets. They do a good job with entertaining the kids and their animal exhibits are clean. It was cool seeing the California Condor up close. I'm not sure I'd say this is a must see but if you have nothing else planned... More 

1 Thank Jager97
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
365 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2015

This would be a 5 star review- but it's a small place that only takes about an hour or so to walk all around....still worth the trip and great for kids as there are many kid friendly activities!

1 Thank drjeff77
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2015

Great local view, very scenic with ocean views from the knoll. Have a picnic, enjoy the animals, take the little train ride to tour the grounds and bird refuge. A wonderful day for the family. Local events and summer camps!

1 Thank Lisa M
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2015

Our family includes 3 generations, from 6 to 68 and we all had a wonderful time. We fed the giraffes, goats and sheep, and koi. I appreciated the educational signage which lists steps we can all take to preserve each animal and wild habitats.

1 Thank Patty G
Whittier, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 7, 2015

Great variety of animals for such a small zoo; tigers, giraffes, gorilla, aviary, insects and lizards. Nicely kept. Good price. Kids had a great time!

1 Thank 458Beth5
Joinville, SC
Level Contributor
81 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2015

I knew that is just a zoo, but I think the space for the animals are too small! Specifically for the giraffes, elephants and felines animals. They needs more space. But they take care very well for the animals, For example, they take care with the foot of the elephants, because is good for the Heath. When I was there,... More 

Thank Leny E
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
89 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2015 via mobile

This zoo has a very nice setting, which is well maintained. The waiting line to feed the giraffes was far too long, but did cost 6 $ for an adult; we gave the tickets away. Beautiful landscape and animals looked healthy and taken care of, but overall the cages and areas seem too small for the majority. Surely worth while... More 

Thank Karin G
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
101 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2015

Situated beautifully in Santa Barbara between the beach and mountains, the zoo offers something for everyone. Though, like many zoos, there are hills to be conquered, every step is well worth the effort. The lion and giraffe enclosures are my favorites. Only the poor lions are stuck right next the giraffes, with fences separating the two species. One can only... More 

Thank craig s
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
145 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2015

Very nice zoo! Not too big so it didn't take very long to get through. There are beautiful views of the mountains and ocean from the zoo and the landscaping is gorgeous.

Thank ketah777

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Torrance, California
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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?